On August 11th, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law an amendment to the Crime Victims Compensation Act providing compensation for bicyclists and pedestrians injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. The Act allows for a victim, or anyone dependent upon the victim, to receive compensation for for pecuniary loss or support caused by a "crime of violence." Violations of portions of the Illinois Motor Vehicle code are now considered crimes of violence under the amendment where they cause injury or death to a pedestrian or bicyclist. Compensation under the Act is permitted only after other sources of compensation, i.e. insurance or governmental benefits, if any, have been exhausted. There are also certain reporting requirements in the Act that need to be followed. The Amendment to the Act is effective immediately. To read the Act click here.
This is an important and welcome recognition that vehicular crimes against bicyclists and pedestrians are a very serious matter. Such incidents are all too common on Illinois roads and they often impart significant financial, as well as physical and emotional, consequences to victims.
For more information about the crime victims compensation program visit the Illinois Attorney General's website by clicking here.